Football Preview: Top 10 running backs for the 2018 season

4 minute read

Beth Long

The Chicago Sun-Times preps team is busy previewing the upcoming football season. A big part of that is the annual preseason Super 25 rankings. We’re down to the final two teams, which will be revealed this week. In addition to analyzing the teams themselves, we’re ranking the top players at several key positions. One of those is running back. Here is a look at the area’s top ten running backs for the 2018 season.

It’s a good year for running backs in the area with multiple Big Ten recruits topping the list and three exciting backs to watch in the East Suburban Catholic. There is excellent overall depth in the junior and senior class.

1. AJ Henning, Lincoln-Way East, Jr. (5-10, 180)
Henning has undeniable speed and it shows on the field. As a sophomore, he was an integral part of the Griffins undefeated run the the Class 8A title. Another year of experience and unmatched speed puts Henning at the top of the list.

2. Nick Fedanzo, Montini, Sr. (6-1, 205)
Illinois recruit. Fedanzo is an athletic prospect who has great size and is quick on his feet. He’s has an extra gear when he’s in the open field. Should be a major weapon for Montini this season.

3. Ty Gavin, Notre Dame, Sr. (5-11, 175)
East Suburban Catholic Player of the Year in 2017. He rushed for 1,217 yards and 24 touchdowns last season. Gavin takes charge when he gets the ball, changes direction well and has the strength to shake defenders.

4. Luke Skokna, Hinsdale Central, Sr. (5-9, 173)
A standout in football, wrestling and track, he’s returning to the football field with high expectations. Skokna is a natural athlete that brings the physicality of a wrestler and speed of sprinter to the tailback slot

5. Devin Blakley, Nazareth, Sr. (5-10, 180)
Miami (Ohio) recruit. One of the main weapons for a very talented team, Blakley can spread the field out when the ball is in his hands. He has a high football IQ and is excellent at changing direction.

6. Anthony Williams Jr., Bolingbook, Sr. (6-1, 220)
Michigan State recruit. A bruiser on the field, he isn’t afraid of contact. He’s reliable for short yardage gains and also has big play capacity. Williams has very good size and will be a key factor for a Bolingbrook team that has a lot of potential.

7. Leshon Williams, Richards, Jr. (5-10, 195)
One of the top returners on a Richards team that has the chance to make some real noise this fall. Williams has plenty of recruiting interest and several offers. He’s a powerful runner who has good speed, good footwork and can take control of a game when he’s in the open field.

8. Keenan Hailey, Joliet Catholic, Sr. (5-10, 190)
Hailey has a powerful stride, size, speed and sees holes well. He’ll team up with junior Kenyetta Williams to form one of the area’s most exciting running back duos.

9. Kyle Davis, Mount Carmel, Sr. (6-1, 210)
Western Michigan recruit. A strong downhill runner with good size, Davis is powerful and has excellent footwork to help him motor through traffic.

10. Charles Coleman, Oswego, Sr. (6-2, 230)
He’s got great size and the look and feel of a traditional back. The Panthers can count on Coleman for his consistency in short yardage situations and football IQ. He’s a bruiser and complements the offense well.

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Want the latest info and analysis on high school football? Our preps team of Michael O’Brien, Beth Long and Annie Costabile will share all the latest news, insights and Super 25 football rankings in a new livestream show called “Sun-Times Game Week.”  You can watch it LIVE every Monday night at 6:30 p.m. right here on our high school sports Facebook page  You can also ask questions using the hashtag #SunTimesGameWeek or email those questions to

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